As Breuer Departs, Criminal Division Leaders Step Into New Positions
By Mary Jacoby | February 27, 2013 5:25 pm

Mythili Raman will lead the Justice Department’s Criminal Division on an acting basis after Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer departs government on Friday.

Mythili Raman

Raman has served as Breuer’s chief of staff and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General since September 2009. She was the number-two in command at the Criminal Division, which prosecutes fraud, public corruption, international gangs, money laundering and other major crimes out of the Justice Department headquarters in Washington known as Main Justice.

The White House has not announced a nominee to be Breuer’s permanent replacement. The new Criminal Division leader must be confirmed by the Senate.

Breuer’s departure brings about other personnel changes.

Replacing Raman as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General and Chief of Staff for the Criminal Division is John D. Buretta, a former Brooklyn federal prosecutor who is moving up from his previous position as Deputy Assistant Attorney General and director of the Deepwater Horizon Task Force.

John D. Buretta

Current Fraud Section chief Denis McInerney will replace Buretta as the Deputy Assistant Attorney General overseeing the Fraud and Appellate Sections and the Capital Case Unit.

The new Fraud Section chief will be Jeff Knox, currently McInerney’s top deputy. Knox was head of the Violent Crime and Terrorism Unit in the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York before coming to the Criminal Division in 2010. He has served as the Fraud Section’s Principal Deputy Chief since April 2011. (See bio here, subscription required.)

McInerney, Buretta and Knox will serve in an acting capacity, but their formal titles will not include the “acting” designation because those positions are not subject to Senate confirmation.

Jeff Knox

At the same time, a Fraud Section Assistant Chief assigned to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act unit, Nathaniel Edmonds, is expected to depart soon for private practice. Edmonds could not be reached for comment.

Raman came to the Criminal Division in 1996, prosecuting multi-district cases for the Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section, according to a bio released by the Justice Department. Three years later, she moved to the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s office, serving as chief of the Greenbelt branch office and supervising or prosecuting civil rights, financial fraud, violent crime and child exploitation cases.

In 2006 during the George W. Bush administration, Raman was detailed to Main Justice as senior counsel to the Deputy Attorney General, advising on violent crime, federal death penalty cases and other issues, while managing the President’s Identity Theft Task Force. The next year, she returned to Maryland as the appellate chief for the U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein.

By late 2008, Raman was back at the Criminal Division, awaiting Breuer’s expected Senate confirmation. The Senate confirmed Breuer in April 2009, and by September he had tapped Raman as his permanent chief of staff and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General.

“Mythili is an exceptionally talented lawyer, and I have no doubt that she will continue her extraordinary career in public service as a brilliant leader of the criminal division,” Breuer said in a statement.

Raman graduated summa cum laude from Yale University in 1991 and from the University of Chicago Law School in 1994 with honors.  She clerked for Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Francis D. Murnaghan Jr. from 1995 to 1996 was an associate at Ropes & Gray LLP in Boston.

This article was updated to confirm Denis McInerney’s new position and to clarify that McInerney, Buretta and Knox will serve in an acting capacity.

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